09 Sep

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Longhorns news & notes: Texas denies AC issues, Duvernay Big 12 POW

WR Devin Duvernay getting some yards on the last drive of the game (Photo by Don Bender/Horns Illustrated).

Complied by Steve Habel, Senior Contributing Writer

AUSTIN, Texas – There's a lot to talk about this week as Texas football prepares for its first road game of the season at Rice. The important notes and quotes from Texas football and coach Tom Herman’s Monday press conference:

• A mad rush for seats in the Texas student section when the gates were opened some two and a half hours prior to the LSU game has led Chris Del Conte, the Longhorns vice president and athletics director to respond with the following statement, released late Monday by the University:

Matthew McConaughey and Chris Del Conte share a moment before a Texas home game (Photo courtesy of Texas Sports).

“We are aware of the concerns about safety regarding the entrance into the stadium and crowding in our student sections at last Saturday’s big game,” Del Conte’s statement reads. “Our fans' safety is paramount to us, and we appreciate those who reached out and certainly hear your concerns.

“We do believe that the enormity of the game combined with the circumstances surrounding the south end zone construction project presented some new challenges that we had not previously faced. We have been meeting with all of our game management staff, as well as our campus safety and security partners and have been discussing potential solutions.

“We are working through plans and will address the issues and improve as we prepare for our next home game against Oklahoma State on Sept. 21.”

• LSU football coach Ed Orgeron said Monday that his team did not have air conditioning in their locker room Saturday when it played Texas, but added that he was warned about that situation by officials at Louisiana Tech, who told Orgeron they were left in the same sweaty predicament when they played in Austin in Week 1.

“We did some things in the dressing room that were better (than what Louisiana Tech did),” Orgeron said in his Monday press conference. “It wasn't great, but it was better. At least we had air in there. Louisiana Tech didn't have air. We had some blowers in there. I don't think that caused as much [cramping in our players] as going out there and having to play 93 plays on defense.”

Del Conte said in another statement on Monday that Orgeron’s comments about air conditioning in the visitor’s locker room were “the first we’ve heard of any issues in that area.”

“We provide one of the best visitor setups available and are proud of the efforts we put forth in hosting our guests, Del Conte’s statement read. “Our facilities staff did not receive any complaints from either Louisiana Tech or LSU, and we’ve confirmed that our air conditioning in the visiting locker room is in good working order.”

• Texas wide receiver Devin Duvernay was named the Big 12 Co-Offensive Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. He previously was named the league’s Newcomer of the Week as a freshman in 2016 after he registered four catches for 96 yards and a score against Iowa State. Duvernay recorded career highs in receptions (12) and receiving yards (154), and matched his career high in receiving touchdowns (2) against No. 6 LSU on Saturday. His performance helped Texas become the first team to throw for more than 400 yards against LSU since West Virginia in 2011.

The Texas sideline getting into the game (Photo by Don Bender/Horns Illustrated)

• Kickoff for Texas’ Sept. 21 matchup against Oklahoma State is set for 6:30 p.m. CDT, the Big 12 Conference announced Monday. The game will air on ABC from Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The Longhorns own an all-time record of 24-9 against Oklahoma State, including a 14-6 record in Austin. UT’s clash with the Cowboys will mark the fourth time in the last 10 seasons that the Longhorns will start conference play at home. Texas is 15-8 (.652) all-time in its first Big 12 home game.

• Herman confirmed that injured running backs Danny Young (ankle) and Kirk Johnson (shoulder) are still weeks away from seeing game action. “There really isn't an update – [they could be back for] whoever we play after the bye week (West Virginia), I'm not sure,” Herman said. “I think Oklahoma State, that would be a bit of a pipe dream at this point.”

• Herman lauded the play of his three starting defensive linemen – DEs Malcolm Roach and Ta’Quon Graham and NT Keondre Coburn – despite the fact that the trio don't have a sack and have combined for just seven tackles (five of those by Roach). “Malcolm Roach and Keondre Coburn, they had a very, very good game,” Herman said. “They were very disruptive. Stats don't matter for defensive linemen. Do you disrupt the offense, and if the answer is yes, you're doing your job.”

Steve Habel is a senior contributing writer for Horns Illustrated. He has covered Texas sports since 1989 and was this magazine’s senior editor for 24 years. You can follow him on twitter @stevehabel .